tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 18, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PST
stricter gun laws? many former pro gun lawmakers say yes, but we still have not heard from the nra. one of the new things the school shooter may have done socially was play video games. so is there a link between these types of games and aggressive behavior? one expert says yes. "newsroom" starts now. good morning. thank you for being with us today. i'm carol costello in atlanta. first a small step toward normally in newtown, connecticut. soledad o'brien joins us live. good morning, soledad. >> reporter: good morning to you, carol. as you said, classes resume today for most of the kids in this community, so many wrestling with so much heartbreak, all of the newtown schools except for sandy hook
elementary will reopen. grief and the fears of returning students an additional concern. police officers will be at every single school and today the town will lay to rest, the grandmother of charlotte bacon says her 6-year-old granddaughter was a bundle of energy who loved dresses and a second, jessica rekos, loved horses, she wrote her own horse stories, excited about a pair of cowgirl boots she was expecting to get for christmas. now to get the latest on the school's reopening this morning, sara endo is here in the heart of newtown with more. >> reporter: they're starting to see a lot of school buses rolling by and in about an hour or two classes will be in session. they all may be anxious about
school returning back to normalcy but this could be the first step to healing. step towards normalcy, for newton kids that means go back to school. >> we're a little bit worried because we know what we thought was a secure school had this happen to them. >> reporter: facing fear may be the first step to overcome this tragedy. >> children have to get back to school. if we let this sort of terror in our lives in this country, we have toe get our kids back to class. >> reporter: except for those at sandy hook elementary. monday all schools were closed as teachers and administrators trained with experts on how to handle the aftermath. many parents agree kids belong back in school. >> i think that one of the big things we have to do is have
some sort of normalcy and school is part of that, unfortunately, you know, we're living in this world where sometimes evil prevails sometimes, but we're just believing that good will overcome this. >> sandy hook elementary remains a crime scene. furniture and supplies were moved to chalk hill middle school where sandy hook students will eventually resume classes. >> whenever the stool has started they'll talk into a classroom that looks as close as possible as their classroom that they left. >> grief counselors and police officers will be present at newtown schools today and throughout the week. principles ask parents to talk to their kids before they go back to schools and the teacher also address what happened here in an age appropriate manner. soledad? >> sandra endo, thank you. investigators continue to search
the home of adam lanza. we'll learn more about how his mother, nancy, might have been storing the weapons he used in the shooting. cnn's deb feyerick is at the house and joins us with more. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, soledad. investigators are trying to unlock the mysteries inside this guy's mind, trying to do it by putting together shards of a broken computer and that is what is going to take a relatively long time yesterday at this home a number of investigators were here for the better part of the afternoon about two and a half hours four investigators in unmarked patrol cars, they came quietly, left quietly. we could not tell whether they were carrying anything. adam lanza appears to have fallen off the grid. three years unaccounted for. last time any record of him was back in 2009 when he was a student at a local student, taking several classes.
after 2009 he falls away. nobody nlds what he was doing over the last couple of years. you look at this picture perfect house on the hill you don't know what was going on inside this house. you know the mother was killed near her home and earlier this morning soledad we have to tell you that some of the families of the children who were killed, they live not too far from this home and we saw several cars leaving a house and the family visibly upset inside, we could tell, there was a schoolbus as well but this community still feeling this as investigators try hopefully to get some indication as to what he was thinking and why he chose sandy hook elementary. soledad? >> reporter: it's terrible. this shooting reignited i think it's fair to say gun control. you have one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the world halting its sale of some
kinds of those semiautomatic weapons, right? >> yes, as a matter of fact that's exactly right.'s sporting goods store are stopping gun sales in the store closest to newtown, the store in danbury, country country and the private equity firm cerberus decided to sell off the company that makes the bushmaster, one of the rivals used in this horrible attack. that rifle inflicted maximum damage on a number of the victims so there are changes that are going on right now as sporting goods stores and gun sellers as they begin to reevaluate how much of a stake they want in the firearms sale in the united states. >> it's interesting. all right, deb feyerick, thank you, appreciate it. let's get back to carol costello. >> dick's sporting goods isn't the only store curtailing some
gun soles. walmart is as well. alison kosik, good morning. >> good morning. walmart is no longerizing the bushmaster ar-15 but the retailer says you can buy it at select locations. walmart is one of the biggest gun dealers in the world and high capacities and guns like semiautomatic military style rifles are the fastest growing in the market. you look at walmart's advertising, the bushmaster is no longer listed, not on bass pro shop but you can still view it on cabell's. retailers are trying to distance themselves from the tragedy. >> big stores are distancing themselves, but smaller been stores across its country, some of those say people are buying guns like mad.
>> you look at gun sales they've been up over the past few days and in some way it's not a huge surprise. some people want to protect themselves and gunshop owners say they are worried about gun control laws after the president sunday signaled the possibly for more action, it's pressuring, getting people to buy guns and buy weapons now before a possible crackdown can happen and you could also see pressuring stocks and companies that make the guns like sit ami wesson, shares tumbled monday and pointing to a lower open today. >>alson kosc kosik on the busin side of this today. today we are billions closer to reaching a deal. president obama tufrd compromise on boehner's idea to raise taxes
on people making $1 million or more a year. the president proposed raising taxes on family making more than $250,000 a year. dan lothian is at the white house. this is good, right? >> reporter: well it's certainly significant because as you pointed out the president for quite some time had been campaigning on the issue saying taxes had to go up on house holds making more than $250,000 during these negotiations over the last several weeks, both the president and other aids here at the white house had been insisting there would be no deal unless taxes went up on those making more than 250,000 and now the president according to source sources laying out the proposal to raise it to 400,000. it is significant, not what republicans really want. they don't want taxes going up on anyone. they want the tax breaks to
continue for all americans because they believe this could have an adverse effect on the economy, could impact the job creators. in addition the president made another concession rather offering up $1.2 trillion in new revenue and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. this was something speaker john boehner had been insistent upon, balance of new spending cuts and new revenue although house gop aides say they have trouble with the math but they believe this is a move in the right direction. >> talk about the frequency of meetings between john boehner and president obama. the last eight days they met three times? >> that's right, they were met three times. yesterday's meeting happened here at the white house, lasted about 45 minutes. we were not told when that meeting started. we got word of that meeting
after it had been under way for 10 or 15 minutes. they've had the three face-to-face meetings and indications from the white house the offer the president put forward is not the final sufr there's additional room for compromise. no word of any additional meetings or phone calls today. >> we may have a christmas surprise, who knows. five days after their capture an american journalist and his production crew are safely out of syria. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel and his crew disappeared thursday after crossing into northwest syria from turkey. this morning he told the "today" show how they were all finally set free. >> at the end of this, we were being moved to yet another location in the later around 11:00 last night local time and as we were moving along the road
the kidnappers came across a rebel checkpoint, something they hadn't expected so we were in the back of what you'd think of as a mini van and as we were driving along the road the kidnappers saw this checkpoint, started a gun fight with it. two of the kidnappers were killed, they climbed out of the vehicle and the rebels took us. we spent the night with them, we didn't get much sleep. >> ivan watson joins us from istanbul, turkey. ivan, who were these kidnappers and why did they take me see journalists? >> well, according to richard engel's statement this was a shabiha pro-government militia made up of shiite muslims and it gives you a sense of how chaotic the situation has gotten inside syria. we were hearing about clashes between rifle rebel groups.
we've heard from some people involved in trying to locate richard engel's team that the guys who grabbed him were claiming to be members of the free syrian army, the rebel movement that is fighting to overthrow bashar al assad. it gives you a sense of how chaotic the political landscape is with many armed groups claiming to be rebels, some claiming to be parts of the government and some outlaws out for a ransom. >> nbc never came out publicly and said engel or his crew was missing. this is the first time we're hearing about it. why do you think that is? >> this is a common strategy used in the conflict zones when there have been hostage takings and kidnapping. an effort to make a media blackout so that people can try to figure out who is missing, who were the actors.
are there demands from the kidnappers and try to keep kids alive. we've seen this in the past in numerous different conflict zones and that was used in this case, too, while nbc was trying to figure out who to talk to, to try to get their people back. it's likely to be a method this kind of media blackout we'll see used in the future as well. there have been other kidnappings inside syria and negotiations so we've seen a similar pat person in those cases. also this gives time for companies and colleagues to contact family members and make sure that they do not get the wrong information and try to control the devastating impact of a traumatizing experience like this. thankfully richard engel and four of his colleagues are safe right now, and unharmed, after what was a terrifying experience involving mock executions. >> took the words right out of my mouth, ivan watson reporting live this morning. after the tragedy in
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17 minutes past the hour, we'll take you back to newtown in a minute. california teenager under arrest accused of threatening to carry out a similar attack to the one in connecticut. police say sergio kavaa supported the actions of the school shooter. the 18-year-old now faces felony charges of criminal threats. we're learning new details about the man police say shot and killed two people in an
oregon mall before killing himself. jacob roberts' roommate told investigators the gunman acted weird and started talking about moving and seg his possessions and the day before the shooting roberts told a friend he needed to get out of town and needed a gun. the next day both roberts and a rifle were missing. a new satellite launched by north korea is dead and gone according to a u.s. astrophysicist who says the satellite is no longer giving off any signal. the u.s. and other countries believe the satellite launch was the test of a ballistic missile. if you're praying for lower gas price this is holiday season you may get your answer. according to aaa, gas prices have been falling every day for four weeks. the price is three cents away from the lowest mark in two years. right now prices average $3.24 a gallon. gun control, it just may be the right time. democratic lawmakers who are
strongly pro gun rights have signaled they're willing to deal and senator dianne feinstein is ready with legislation. >> there's no second amendment right to bear every type of weapon that you know of. these are a certain class of weapons. they are designed to kill large numbers of people in close comb combat. i don't believe the second amendment covers them. >> advocates like new york mayor michael bloomberg are hopeful,' long with victims of gun violence created a website that features personal testimonials of how violence has affected their lives. still no pushback from the powerful gun rights organization, the nra, the national rifle organization. it doesn't mean the organization isn't up for a fight. it's a familiar ritual, showing, telling their love of the gun. >> hey, i'm a catholic deer hunter. i am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion.
>> reporter: don't think this sort of thing is limited to gun-loving republicans. democrats run on guns, too. >> as your senator i'll protect our second snnt rights, that's why the nra endorsed me. >> reporter: sandy hook and the incomprehensible tragedy touched west virginia's democratic senator joe manchin, a supporter of gun rights. >> who would have thought anywhere in america or in the world children would be slaughtered. i don't know of anybody that goes hunting with an assault rifle. i don't know people that need 10, 20, 30-round clips. >> shame on the nra. >> reporter: grassroots organizations have sprung up to marching on the nra but it remains to be seen if this will turn into legislative action. >> reporter: senator feinstein says she'll introduce gun legislation in the next few weeks. as political analyst larry
sabato says "they're lying low. they know they can't win an argument when the emotion of the subject is completely tilted to the opposition." it's why sabato says so far the nra has not commented on sandy point. it's the same strategy the nra used after congresswoman gabrielle giffords was shot. instead of publicly arguing its side, the nra mobilized, according to the center for responsive politics the gun rights organization spent more on lobbying in 2011 than it ever had, $2.5 million, and it promoted personal safety through gun ownership, like it did following bob costas' passionate plea for gun control after jovan belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then himself. >> he wouldn't have said a thing if this woman had saved her life having a firearm available from jovan belcher.
>> reporter: it wasn't long before talk about belcher, the nfl and gun control died down. as for gun control legislation passed after gabby giffords was shot? zero. of course i meant to say sandy hook, i apologize but keep in mind the nra is powerful not just because it's well funded but because it has 4 million members, that's like 4 million votes in your pocket and it remains to be seen if lawmakers have the political will in the face of all those photos. >> the polls are shifting. it will be interesting to see if there is political will that comes out of that, carol. the new polls after the shootings at sandy hook show more americans are in favor of stricter gun laws. 57% of americans favor stronger gun laws and 30% say they should be left where they are. 50% of the respondents say stricter gun laws would not have helped prevent horrible events that happened at sandy hook on
friday. texas governor rick perry who is a long time supporter of gun rights is speaking out after the tragedy in newtown at a tea party meeting. he said texans should be allowed to carry guns anywhere including schools. listen. >> in the state of texas, with our concealed handgun license if you go through the process and you have been dually backgrounded and trained and you are a concealed handgun licensed carrying individual, you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state. >> reporter: governor perry also said some texas school districts already allow armed school personnel and the audience applauded him loudly. west virginia senator joe manchin has always been a strong advocate for gun rights but when i spoke to him earlier on "starting point" he said it's time to sit down and look for a new approach. we're back in just a moment.
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it was just a couple minutes ago i told you there were bright spots in the negotiations to avoid that fiscal cliff we've all been talking about for so long, that president obama was willing to compromise on who was taxed more and how much money they made but apparently there's been a setback. let's go to dana bash our congressional correspondent. you have the breaking details. what are they? >> reporter: i'm not sure if this is a setback or significant change in negotiating tactics. the house speaker is in the room next to me speaking with his republican rank and file and
significant move that republicans politically do not want to be in a position where they are sitting here january 1st and the whole country's taxes are going to go up and clearly they know politically they'll get the blame for it so they'll move on a separate track to make sure people that make up to $1 million won't see an increase in tax rates on january 1st. >> gotcha. all right. what else could we do? we'll see what happens. dana bash reporting live. >> reporter: the speaker will speak to reporters at 10:00 so we'll have more then. >> dana bash thank you so much. we'll take a quick break and be back with much more after this. how you doing today? i'm good thanks. how are you? i'm good. [ gordon ] but for others, it's all they can afford. every day nearly nine million older americans
good morning, thank you so much for being with us. i'm carol costello in atlanta, soledad o'brien is in newtown, connecticut, she joins us live. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, carol. here is the latest today. classes resume for most of the kids in this community, many of them still wrestling with so much heartbreak. all the newtown schools except for sandy hook elementer have school are reopening today. the grief and fears of returning students are going to be a huge concern no doubt, additional counselors and police officers will be at every school. today the grandmother of charlotte bacon says the 6-year-old was a bundle of energy, she is laid to rest today and 6-year-old jess isica
rekos lived and breathed horses. she was expecting a pair of cowgirl boots for christmas. you can see senator manchin in an ad called dead aim. in the aftermath of sandy hook, he's had a change of heart. i spoke with him earlier and here's what he told me. >> i know everybody is grieving as hard as we're grieving in west virginia as hard as i'm grieving. i really can't imagine. i don't have words for that, my sympathies for them. with that being said we haven't hopefully become a society or become even a governing body that we can't sit down and talk.
we can't lay everything on the table to find out how do we move forward when we know we have challenges and you know, i'm a big proponent of colin powell's five promises to children. the second promise is every child should have a safe place in their life. sometimes it's not always the home. more than often it's the school and it looks like that's even been taken away, so it is time to set down. it's time to look at a responsible, reasonable approach. mental illness, a culture of violence, sometimes it's accepted, even glorified and then certain military style weapons that really as a hunter myself, a proud defender of the second amendment, as a proud member of the nra, we should question and look and see if there's a better way to do this. >> would you then support legislation that would ban assault weapons? would you support legislation that would get rid of high-capacity magazines? >> soledad, that all has to come to the table. if it's a possibly, reasonable
manner, i would think that the majority of americans would support a reasonable approach to that. i've been hunting all my life. i've never had multiple rounds of clips of ten or more. it's not needed. i've never gone with a military-style assault rifle hunting. it's not needed. so we need to question that and we need to bring the nra in. these are all good people. they have children and grandchildren. they're hurting, too. they're grieving. so you can't villainize, we won't move forward. we'll be in a stalemate again and that's not what we desire. >> do you worry about political backlash? you said you're a proud member of the nra as you know they often fund candidates and work to overthrow frankly candidates who don't support the same kinds of beliefs and legislation they support. do you worry about backlash from
your constituents? >> i come from the great state of west virginia, the most wonderful people and we sit down and come to conclusions with the facts. that's what we're asking for. there's always going to be movement or political backlash on anything and everything. the easiest vote to take in washington is a no vote. vote for nothing. you don't have to explain. if you're willing to move forward and for the sake of our children, soledad, we had 20 beautiful babies that were slaughtered. that cannot be tolerated in america. >> joe manchin says sitting down at the table, carol, is the first step to coming to some meaningful dialogue about what changes to be happened considered to be reasonable on both sides of the issue. >> even in this climate, that's easier said than done. thanks, soledad. now is your chance to talk about one of the big stories of
the day, the question is this. what does owning a gun represent to you? there is one industry that is recession proof, the gun industry. americans spend about $3.5 billion every year on guns. even in the days after 20 first graders were shot multiple times gun stores were jammed in case washington decides to clamp down on guns. >> they're going to do something, that's obvious, and people want to get stuff before a ban on whatever comes in, probably magazines, people get scared. >> critics say america's enormous appetite for guns is largely fueled by the national rifle association. it's easy to see why. the in, ra is a master when it comes to psychology. listen to nra executive vice president wayne lapierre from earlier this year. >> if president obama gets one more term it will break the back of the second amendment in this country.
this is the most dangerous election in our lifetime, if you're a supporter of the second amendment. >> really? mr. obama did not push for a single piece of gun control legislation in his first term, no matter. in the nra's world obama's second term spells doom or maybe what happened at sandy hook does. dick's sporting goods is not selling those type of weapons. the late famous saying he'd give you his gun only if you pride it out of his hands. >> from my cold, dead hands. >> what is it about guns that cuts to the core of the american psyche, is it the second amendment which says our right to bear arms shall not be infringed or is it as former nra lobbyist richard feldman says gun owners see this relationship
through this democracy through the guys of the gun issue. what does owning a gun represent to you? facebook.com/carolcnn, your responses later this hour. violent video games, let's talk about that a little bit, some of the most popular on the market. every time we hear about a shooting, concerns are brought up about the violent video games. should parents be worried about the games their children play? i need you. i feel so alone. but you're not alone.
weapons piece of legislation and it's going to be strong and it's going to be definitive and it's going to ban by name at least 100 military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and it's going to ban big clips, drums or strips of more than ten bullets, and it's this particular category of weapon which the bushmaster is. it's a killer weapon. you can find it very quickly, very little recoil, very little kick and it's very high velocity and it doesn't belong on the streets of our city and it doesn't belong in a place where a 20-year-old like this particular 20-year-old could get a hold of it and do what he did. this makes me very angry. >> there was a federal assault weapons ban, it expired in 2004.
>> those who knew adam lanza said he loved video games. he was a member of the school's tech club in high school. members of the tech club played the computer video games including the one you're looking at "starcraft" you command armies to defeat your opponents. is there a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior? craig anderson is a professor at iowa state university and director of the center for the study of violence and joins us from ames, iowa. welcome, sir. >> thank you, happy to be here, carol. >> glad to have you here. in your mind is there a connection between violent video game and violence in real life? >> yes, there is. every major scientific society that has studied the question has come to the same answer, the maeamerican medical association
the american psychological association, the national society for research and aggression have come to the same conclusion media violence is a risk factor, is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior including violence. >> years ago back in the day we heard the same thing about heavy metal music or hard rock music with violent lyrics and that kind of fell by the wayside and nobody really believes that, you know, lyrics and music such as that translates to violent behavior in the real world. that's true. the same thing has happened to research on movie violence and television violence and in a sense, that speaks to the strength of the industries much like the nra, but the movie industry video game industry and their ability to keep the general public confused about what the research shows. the research is very clear.
we conducted, it's called a meta analysis type of study published in 2010 that looked at all of the video game studies that we could find around the world, including a substantial number from japan, and reviewed those studies and combined them using state-of-the-art statistical procedures and came to the conclusion that exposure to video games, violent video games can increase aggressive behavior. >> so professor, what exactly, how does it affect your brain? does it desensitize to you violence? what does watching or playing a video game do to your brain to make you more violent? >> well, there are a number of processes going on, so in the short term, that is right while one is playing the game and for a brief period afterwards, aggressive thoughts are more
available. if a provocation occurs in that time period you're more to see it as a provocation and aggressive solutions come to mind. longer term we get changes in attitudes towards using aggressive solutions, changes in how one interprets say ambiguous situations, so you get bumped into say a child and n a lunchroom. those who play a lot of violent video games are more likely to interpret in a bump as intentional and more likely to respond by pushing back or maybe even starting a fight. >> okay, so the final question and this is the thing i think confuses people. millions of people play games like "world of warcraft" millions of people do and millions do not resort to violent behavior in the real world so how do you explain the disconne
disconnect. >> that's correct. the idea is that it's much like say smoking and lung cancer. smoking a cigarette isn't going to cause all cancer. some who don't smoke can get cancer and some who do smoke don't get it. i like to point out taking a normal, healthy, well-developed child or adolescent and you know, if they start playing violent video games, that's not going to turn them into a school shooter, mainly because extreme acts of violence always require multiple risk factors to be present. and media violence is only one of many risk factors out there for extreme kinds of aggression and violence. >> professor craig anderson, thank you so much for being with us this morning. >> you're welcome. we're back in a minute with a check of our top stories. [ woman ] ring. ring.
september 11. advertisers reporting they may have to work on christmas day bops santa wants a big mac on christmas day. it cites a memo urging franchisees to open to help boost sales. rg 3 has set a record off the feed. espn.com reports the rg 3 jersey has sold more than any other players in a single season since the nfl started keeping track. hollywood legend martin scorsese will produce a documentary on bill clinton. clinton is said to be cooperating fully with the project. let's take you back to newtown and soledad. >> i am not surprised he is
cooperating. >> reporter: here in newtown, connecticut the days have cleared up. we were in a down pour which some people were talking about the town crying because the weather was so bad. the town is trying to make sense of this terrible tragedy. investigators trying to learn more about the shooter, adam lanza, one of those who might be able to offer insight is adam diaz who spokeclusively to susan candiotti. we will hear from him this morning. also ahead in the next hour kids in every school here in newtown except for sandy hook elementary are back to school today and on hand at ever school is grief counselors. we'll update you on what is happening there. i spoke with steve perry the
principal of capital school at hartford, connecticut. we will talk to him about what he would do at his school. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help.
this is from lisza. control of my own safety. my ability to make my own decisions and understanding of personal accountability, mine and the criminals. this one from shelly no one has the right to own a gun that can kill 20 children in a minute and a half. had mrs. lanza secured her weapons we might not have had so much carnage. keep the conversation going. more of your responses in the next hour of "newsroom." up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze.
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just days after that deadly school shooting at sandy hook elementary school fellow students in newtown are heading back to the classroom. it is not going to be easy. how do you help them cope? plus an exclusive interview with a former classmate of adam lanza who explains information about the gunman's childhood. >> he was a very intelligent person but the way he acted with other people was withdrawn and quiet. and lies spread about the sandy hook case. they say they will go after social media users who post fake
posts. "newsroom" starts now. good morning. thank you so much for being with us. i'm carol costello in atlanta. we will check in with soledad o'brien in newtown, connecticut. this morning a small check towards normalcy. classes resume for most kids in the community still wrestling with so much heartbreak. the grief and fears of the returning students will be a huge concern. additional counselors and police officers will be at every single school. today the town lays to rest two more of its youngest victims. the grandmother of charlotte bacon says the 6-year-old was a bundle of energy who loved dresses and school. 6-year-old jessica rekos loved horses. she was excited about a pair of cow girl boots she was expecting at christmas time. both of those girls laid to rest today.
now let's head back to newtown. >> reporter: more to tell you about the gunman while the community of newtown is trying to make sense of the tragedy. investigators are trying to learn more about adam lanza and one of those who might be able to offer a little bit of insight is adam diaz, a former classmate of lanza' who spoke with susan candiotti. >> reporter: among the steady stream of people drawn to this memorial honoring victims, a former schoolmate of the alleged killer. >> because you know he is a very big part in this event. i'm not really sure what to think of it. >> reporter: sadly, he is the reason for it. >> yeah. >> reporter: allen diaz may have been as close as anyone could
come to being a friend of adam lanza. >> he was a very intelligent person. he really was. the way he acted around other people was very withdrawn and really quiet. >> reporter: a little different. >> yeah. >> reporter: they were in the high school tech club together and spent a lot of time on computers. adam had his own style of dressing. >> he had the stereotypical nerd look. khaki pants, belt, tucked in shirt. he even had a little computer case instead of a backpack like everyone else. he had a pocket protector. >> reporter: he doesn't know whether lanza was bullied. he kept to himself. >> we all kind of new that he had problems socially. and we kind of had a feeling that there might have been something wrong with him but obviously we never asked. >> reporter: back then his schoolmates' mom invited all the friends to the house to play
video games. one was star craft, kind of a war games in space. another was war craft 3 where as the ad says survival is a matter of strategy. >> war craft 3 was really fun. he was really into games. as i recall he picked up on star craft quickly. >> reporter: when lanza left high school and was home schooled diaz lost touch but ran into adam mfs mother. >> i remember her mentioning that he started going to the shooting range with her. i never imagined adam wanted to ever hold a gun. >> reporter: why do you say that? >> i don't know. maybe because like in my mind i don't imagine shy quiet people going to a shooting range. i never really can make that association. >> reporter: investigators are tracking how often lanza had been to gun ranges.
they don't know how many so far. they have proven he has been to target practice about six months ago and for several years. motherer and son went at least once together. allen's older sister went to school with lanza's older brother. >> why her? she was just -- it was a shock. she was always a happy person. >> reporter: do you think of him as an evil person because of what he did? >> at one point he was a good kid. the events that he did that day may have been evil but before then he was just another kid. >> reporter: until something made him snap. susan candiotti, cnn, newtown,
connecticut. >> reporter: the grade school shooting here in connecticut is the deadliest of its kind in u.s. history. the tragedy is forcing school officials to ask if they are doing enough to protect children. is lisa sylvestor is in washington, d.c. this morning. >> i know you know this but they say when you become a parent that a little bit of your heart lives outside you but for many parents this tragedy hit upon their worst fears. how do you keep your kids safe when they are away from you at school? >> you try not to think about it but it is difficult. >> reporter: gina has a hard time holding back the tears. >> it is heartbreaking. it's very difficult to imagine and i can't imagine being one of those parents. >> reporter: what happened in newtown, connecticut could have happened in any town. it is one of the quiet fears parents have that has now risen to the surface.
page anderson has a 6-year-old daughter. >> my daughter was telling me that they did a drill last week so i think they do them on a regular basis. you can't prepare for every eventuallity. >> reporter: schools are reviewing programs. high schools in virginia have trained police officers on campus. middle schools and elementary schools require all visitors to be buzzed and signed in. for the school superintendent this is all deeply personal. he visited a kindergarten and first grade class to offer any needed comfort and reassurance. >> it is really emotional. just going into the classrooms and looking at those wonderful children, looking at their faces and realized they are but for the grace of god could be our kids here. >> reporter: the shooting in newtown is opening up a new conversation. how much security at schools is enough? should there be armed guardst at
elementary schools and preschools, metal detectors? school psychologists say there has to be a balance. >> we know that having metal detectors and security people with guns standing out of the school not only would most parents not want to drop off their 6-year-old at school like that but that doesn't decrease violence and it can decrease the perceived sense of safety. >> reporter: school psychologists say kids need a greater sense of security that when they get on that school bus they will return home. so some of the things a school can do, the national association of school psychologists says schools should establish a crisis response team to deal with any emergencies. they should also communicate with parents and explain what kind of steps are being done to keep their children safe and review all policies and have counselors and psychologists on hand to deal with any emotional needs that children might have.
>> this is an opportunity for people to review all of the things that they do already and what they should be doing. thank you, lisa. appreciate it. let's get right back to carol costello. >> thanks. let's talk a little politics now. we are awaiting a news conference from house speaker john boehner. we thought there was a bright spot on the brink of the fiscal cliff. just when we thought that the spirit of compromise was in the air mr. boehner decided to throw the press conference that is about to begin. supposedly mr. boehner is going to introduce a plan b because negotiations aren't moving along fast enough. let's head to the white house because dan lothian is covering the story, too. just an hour ago i talked to you about this bright spot and compromise in the air. what the heck happened? >> it is like a see saw going up
and down. from speaker boehner's office we are told that there is this sense of urgency with the clock winding down to the big deadline. there is concern that there hasn't been an agreement. and so the speaker wants to open up the second track or the plan b as you have just mentioned. and my colleague hearing from a gop source that that plan b would be some kind of legislation to extend those bush era tax cuts for those making up to $1 million. that is the plan b right now. as for reaction from the white house i did reach out to a number of folks here i was sold that the president did speak with speaker boehner last night by phone. he was informed about the plan b but was not giving any details about what that plan b would be. of course, this comes on the heels of some great optimism i think when the president overnight backed off what he had held for so long on the campaign trail that insisting that the
bush era tax cuts had to expire for those making more than $250,000. the president now raising that up to $400,000. that is very dramatic because all along this white house had insisted that there would be no deal if those taxes were extended for those making more than $250,000. we will await to see. i can tell you is that a source here saying the offer from the president was not the final offer and that was the offer made yesterday. it was a 45-minute meeting. indications that it is not the finalal offer so some sense that there is room for compromise. we are getting up and down where you get a bit of optimism and then something else gets thrown into the mix. >> we are going to go to a different place on capitol hill,
speak to dana bash. john boehner is back to speak. what would you say -- what is this plan b? is this a step forward or a step backward? >> reporter: i think it is a step side ways because he is telling his rank and file that he is going to prepare this plan b, this different track which will -- i'm told actually that they are telling lawmakers that they could have three potential legislator ways to do this and they are going to try to figure out throughout the day how to put it forward. the big picture is that they understand that they will get the blame, they meaning republicans if everybody's taxes go up on january 1. that is the way the polling shows and the way it is politicly for them. they just don't have a lot of leverage. that is why they are politicly preparing for that to make sure
they don't get the blame. also, this is for sure a negotiating tactic. it is a way for the speaker to kind of put the pressure on the president to give him more of what republicans want and more is greater spending cuts and fewer tax increases. that is the gist of what he is telling his people. i am told by a number of republican lawmakers that speaker wasn't very specific on where these private talks are between him and the president except that they don't have a deal. we also have information that what they are talking about is potentially putting this on the floor as early as thursday. so in two days. this is something that they are going to move very fast on to try to, again, avoid taking the blame for tax increases particularly on those that make less than $1 million a year. >> when the house speaker begins speaking we will take you back to capitol hill.
new developments for an american journalist and his production crew. five days after their capture they are safely out of syria. they disappeared last thursday after crossing into northwestern syria from turkey. this morning he told the today show they were not physically tortured but were mentally tortured. >> they took us to a series of safehouses and interrogation places and they kept us blind folded, bound. we weren't physically beaten oratortured. threats of being killed. they made us choose which one of us would be shot first. when we refused there were mock shootings. when you were blind folded and told and then they fire the gun in the air it can ebe very traumatic experience. >> i'll say. they say they were released
after the captors got into a gunfight at a check point. state department has been under scrutiny for months. now they will share new findings with congress as early as today they will share the report. secretary of state hillary clinton ordered the review. lawmakers will be given a classified briefing before formal hearings this week. it will not be easy for students going back to school in connecticut. their sense of security has been absolutely shattered following that awful shooting. what do you tell kids returning to school? how do you make them believe they are safe? wooohooo....hahaahahaha! oh...there you go. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! i'm gonna stand up to her! no you're not. i know.
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president we are going to also move plan b. i think we all know that every income tax filer in america is going to pay higher rates come january 1 unless congress acts so i believe it is important that we protect as many american taxpayers as we can. and our plan b would protect american taxpayers who make $1 million or less and have all of their current rates extended. i continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the white house that would reduce spending as well as have revenues on the table. i think it would be better for our country. but at this point having a backup plan to make sure that as few american taxpayers are effected by this increase as possible moving down that path is the right course of action for us. >> good morning. first i would like to say that i think all of our hearts and
prayers are with the families in newtown, connecticut. as a father i cannot even imagine the utter horror that those families are going through right now grieving the loss of their children and their loved ones. as far as the fiscal cliff is concerned as the speaker has said we remain committed to trying to minimize the impact on hard working families and small businesses in this country as far as tax increases are concerned. we look to find the answer to solve the problem on the spending issue here in washington. the president is not yet there. he has not come to where he needs to be in order for us to push through a bill that really does begin to address the problem. as the speaker said that is why we are now discussing an alternative plan if the president and the white house cannot come our way.
thank you. >> well, as the speaker and the leader said, we have been trying to make sure we do not go off this fiscal cliff. at the same time put america on a different path, one for job creation and one that takes care of our spending. i think many times the speaker felt he was negotiating with himself after plan after plan where the president stayed silent. those three weeks right after the election when the first idea was sent across to the president from the speaker we heard nothing but silence. today we will have to go to plan b. because we want to make sure we do not go off the cliff and we want to make sure that we keep an economy where jobs can be created. but the thing we have to remember is where we are in the situation. we are two months into a new fiscal year. you should always look at the
numbers because it can tell you where you are. in those two months we are $292 billion in debt. when you read the numbers there is positive news. revenues are up by 10%. $30 billion. that is 1 billion less than you get if you just raise the top two rates for the first year. but the sad reality is spending is up 16%, $87 billion. that is where the problem lies. that is where the president has to start talking about and that is what we want to solve in the long run, an america for the children and a future that we can build and one that can create jobs. the clock continues to tick and we are just days now from the end of the year. and i think that the best christmas gift that we can give america is an agreement, an agreement that gives certainty to our hard working middle class families as to what their tax rates are going to be, the small
business owners so they can hire and pursue that innovation and that proves to the american people that we can lead and get our job done. that is the best christmas gift and i am confident that we can get it done. this is our moment. this is our moment to do what is good and right for america. and now we ask the president to join us in that effort. in a nut shell republicans say just in case the president and republicans can't come to an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff republicans will introduce a bill in the house that would keep those bush tax cuts in place for people making up to $1 million per year. so what is the white house's response? let's check in with dan lothian. any word? >> reporter: we are still waiting for official response but sources close in the negotiation believe that this broader agreement is the way to go. i should point out that while
speaker boehner is pushing this second option or this plan b he still wants to move forward with negotiations for the broader agreement. so this is by no means meaning they have cut off any further talks with the white house. they still expect that to happen. but this is sort of the backup plan because that deadline is quickly approaching. as for the balance between spending cuts and revenue, this is something that the white house believes that they have met. speaker boehner had been pushing now for quite some time saying that is a must and the white house in that new proposal that the president put forward yesterday offering $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and $1.2 trillion in new revenue. they believe that they have the numbers on this end. speaker boehner's office -- >> dan, i'm going to interrupt you because house speaker boehner is answering questions.
>> the president is calling for 1$1.3 trillion in revenue and only willing to put $850 billion worth of cuts over ten years. >> reporter: what type of effect has the tragedy in connecticut had on the fiscal cliff talks? is there a realization that the country, the last thing they want to see is a long drawn out battle during this time? >> i think both sides would agree to that. this is a difficult time for americans. that is why we continue to have conversations with the white house. i continue to have hope that we can reach an agreement. it's not a time to put americans through more stress. >> reporter: what would plan b mean for the other big issues that would cause a fiscal cliff? the sequestration and the cuts that would happen automatically? unemployment benefits going away? would you incorporate any of
that into this plan b legislation? >> we are going to continue to look at how we would address those issues. as we put this bill together we expect to be on the floor later this week. dealing with the issue of the alternative minimum tax and the death tax could likely be part of the bill that we would bring to the floor. we would not deal with sequestration. >> reporter: how close would you say the president's plan is? will there be an agreement? >> i have made it clear to the president that i would put $1 trillion worth of revenue on the table if you are willing to put $1 trillion of spending reductions on the table. that at this point would be my version of a balanced approach as he called for. last one. >> reporter: how adamant are you that the medicare eligibility would be a part of this?
>> there are a lot of issues on the table. that issue has been on the table, off the table and back on the table. it's an issue for discussion. but i don't believe it is an issue that has to be dealt with between now and the end of the year. it is an issue if congress were to do entitlement reform and tax reform as we envision if there is an agreement. that issue will certainly be open to debate in that context. thanks. >> house speaker john boehner. we are going to take a quick break. when we come back, what does owning a gun represent to you? [ male announcer ] red lobster's crabfest ends soon. hurry in and try five succulent entrees, like our tender snow crab paired with savory garlic shrimp. just $12.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes.
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now is your chance to talk back. the question this morning. what does owning a gun represent to you? there is one industry that is recession proof, the gun industry. americans spend about $1.3 billion a year on guns even the days after 20 first graders were shot multiple times gun stores were jammed in case washington decides to clamp down on guns. >> they are going to do something. that is obvious. and people want to get stuff before a ban on whatever comes in, probably magazines. people get scared. >> critics say america's enormous appetite for guns is largely fuelled by the national rifle association. the nra is a master when it comes to psychology. listen to nra executive vice
president from earlier this year. >> if president obama gets one more term it will break the back of the second amendment of this country. this is the most dangerous election in our lifetime if you are a supporter of second amendment. >> really? mr. obama did not push for a single piece of gun control legislation in his first term. no matter. in the nra's world obama's second term spells doom or maybe what happened at sandy hook does. dick's sporting goods says it is banning sales of some semi-automatic guns nationwide. the late nra famous for saying he would give us his gun if you pry it from his hands. >> from my cold, dead hands. >> what is it about guns that cuts to the core of the america psyche? is it the second amendment which says our right to bear arms
should not be infringed or is it that gun owners see their relationship to this democracy through the eyes of the gun issue? what does owning a gun represent to you? facebook.com/carolcnn. kids in every school in newtown except for sandy hook elementary are headed back to school today. soledad o'brien has been in newtown, connecticut. she joins us again. >> reporter: that's right. the kids will be on a two-hour delay. that will give the teachers a little extra time to prepare for their classes. also on hand at every school, grief counselors. it is a different world today that they are going back to. i spoke with steve perry, the principal and founder of capital preparatory school. here is what he told me. if you were among the principals
and teachers inside the location, what would you be telling them? >> i would tell my colleagues is when children ask questions invite them to ask questions and recognize that you need to keep the terms broad because we don't understand what happened and the best thing that we can do is focus on the broad almost fantastical terms that bad things sometimes happen to good people and there are now 20 more angels in the sky. >> reporter: what should the tone this morning be? >> all positive. you are going to be safe. you are safe in schools. >> reporter: we still don't know when the sandy hook students will be going back to class but when they do they will be going to a different school in nearby monroe, connecticut. that school is about seven miles away from where sandy hook elementary stands. >> understood. all across the country schools
can relate. safety is going to become a big issue in the country. ken trump is the president of the national school safety services. >> good morning. >> how are parents across the nation reacting to this? >> parents feel hopeless, helpless and truly powerless in many cases. i am getting e-mails from across the country as well as talking with people in my own backyard. and i think that part of the problem is we are looking at the issue of the school had security. they did the right things and it didn't work. i am suggesting to people that they take a slightly different look in saying we did not have the desired outcome can everyone surviving but i also believe that the things that they had in place actually contributed to saving more lives and preventing greater losses.
there are a couple of different ways to do that. part of that comes into helping feel that they are not helpless and hopeless. parents are frustrated and on edge and leading to calls on far out things, an armed officer at every school. police officers in schools are good things but people almost want a one to one ratio in some conversations. >> i can't say that i blame them. how can parents address their fears in meaningful ways? >> absolutely. as a school safety professional 25 years of experience i am still also a father. as a father i like 100% guarantee. as a safety professional i know i can't give that so i am certainly not criticizing them for that. what we have to do with kids is look at their physical and psychological needs. physical security an adult presence particularly those adults that they know, having parents come back.
law enforcement and parents, people that they are familiar with. faces they know and have seen for a long time is important. those coming in from outside have consistent physical identification, arm bands, vests and stuff. the physical part is manageable. the part that is going to be very tricky is the psychological part. how are you dealing with a number of issues on that end? the transfer of trauma when you have children going from one building to another and you are mixing, are you transferring trauma from one to the other? how do you manage the turf issues? you bring a group of kids in from sandy hook elementary school and how are the receiving kids going to feel? are they getting less attention? age appropriate conversations with kids. we are not going to talk to a five year old the same as an
eight year old. understand that people grieve differently. and a huge issue, carol, that we often miss so much. when i have gone in in post crisis situations is doing a tremendous job of taking care of the kids and forget the adults. and that part is critical. people grieve at different times. i talked personally with a teacher who was in a room where a kid attacked students with a tree saw and a machete and a couple of months later she started having traumatic experiences. i talked to a teacher at a school where a kid brought ak-47 to school and committed suicide and the teacher months later would freeze at the drop of a book. and there is one other issue. down the road one of the huge issues this community is going to have to deal with is, do we reopen that school? do we go to a new school? there will be a lot of adult challenges and disagreements on that.
and a whole lot of psychological discussions. huge issues on the psychological end. the good news is we have people who have gone through a great deal of effort to provide that support in lessons learned from past incidents. it is something that lives for the rest of their lives. i talked with somebody from a school shooting over a decade ago and this incident last week opened up the wounds. >> i can totally understand that. thanks for your insight. how do you move on following a tragedy like the one in newtown? we will hear from a man who had to do that. we're all having such a great year in the gulf,
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>> reporter: there are only a few evechbts that have reached the magnitude of what happened here in connecticut. one of those was the bombing of the federal building in oklahoma city. i asked the governor how they managed to move on. >> it is an instant cataclysim for the families and first responders. the climb out is long and searing and very difficult. today 17 years after the oklahoma city bombing with private funds we are still putting children through college, providing counseling, particular to first responders, firefighters and police officers and even providing medical care for a number of the badly injured. the one thing about newtown, it is a community.
so stitching together, holding hands together, understanding your neighbor is really your neighbor if not a family member. this is going to be a long time crawling out, scratching yourself out because it is going to be searing. we have had suicides. just a lot of agony after the oklahoma city bombing. and i am afraid that the tragedy in newtown will take a long time to recover. >> reporter: it just sounds so brutal. you mentioned the first responders. and i remember seeing when the president came to the interface vigil and the first responders walked in everyone cheered and clapped and patted them on the back. i think they are often forgotten. we don't think about their mental health and how brutally difficult it must have been for them to go inside that school and see the massacre with small children, many of those responders parents themselves. >> that's the point because right now i saw the university of connecticut is putting
together a scholarship fund. surely there are private checks arriving, private transfers of money. i think it is important that a community foundation or perhaps the united way initially put together a plan for how do we address the problems because some people are going to need long term counseling. the first responders particularly people need to be very sensitive to those absolutely stunning, searing, shocking unforgettable moments of those wonderful little children. people need to sit around the table together and work it out but realize they are going to be in this business for a long time. >> reporter: 168 people were killed in that bombing including 19 children. some social media users have been posting false information about the sandy hook case and now police are saying these folks could face charges. we'll talk about that straight ahead. back in a moment.
thinking. first there was facebook. they changed their terms of service and now instagram is looking to do that. you look on social media and people are not happy about this. what instagram announced yesterday is that it is changing its terms including that it can sell your photos to third parties for advertising. i want you to look at the key paragraph where part of it says you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your user name, likeness, photos without any compensation to you. if you post a great picture of you on the beach of your beach vacation, the hotel or town that owns the beach could buy your photo to use but you don't get any of the money. here is the other problem with this. there is no way to opt out unless you delete your instagram account all together before january 16th. if you do it after january 16ther they can grab those
photos, too. >> one was a kid in the picture. >> exactly. the biggest complaint is if you are an under aged user you are not exempt from these policies. if you are under 18 you are agreeing that your parents know your name and likeness can be used in the ads. most parents wouldn't agree. on the kids' part if i take photos of my kids playing on the beach, that is fair game, too, for instagram to grab it and use it, as well. this would good gin on january 16. people are saying they plan to delete their accounts immediately. if you are on instagram and you are only in it for the filters you can go to pic u and snap bucket. twitter added their own filters. there are choices if you are looking to change how your pictures look. >> good advice. alison kosik reporting live from the new york stock exchange. we'll be right back.
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investigation. state police have had enough. >> there has been misinformation coming from people posing as the shooter in this case, posing, using other i.d.s, mimicking this crime and crime scene and activity that took place in this community. prosecution will take place when people perpetrating misinformation are identified. >> as an internet privacy and security lawyer perry knows about fake posts and posers. she works with facebook to protect the real accounts of famous actors and other v.i.p.s. >> how are you? >> i'm good. so will the connecticut state police have trouble tracking these posers down? >> they can probably track them down but it is not so easy to put them in jail. i think the state police very high cyber crime experts in the
case, senator blumenthal raised them well, need to look offline for more reliable forms than online. you will see trolls and others using this to get the attention that they crave. >> but police can often find valuable information online. so in their mind they need to pay attention to social media and then you have these people posting fake information. >> we need to find reliable sources online. there are ways to authent kate that. we need to recognize that a lot of people doing these pranks may be covered by free speech of the first amendment. we have to be careful how we investigate this. this is a very serious situation and something we need to make sure is never repeated. >> you are talking first amendment rights. it is a free country. you can post anything online to a point. when the lieutenant vance says you are going to be prosecuted,
will you be? >> well, in some cases, yes. if there is a threat against serious bodily harm and property and an intent to effect the police investigation or stealing someone's identity there may be grounds for that. if they are just posting information that may be confusing there may not be. i want to make sure that they use all of their energy in the right ways and a lot of big networks are very helpful there and they are protecting the identity of celebrities who have people mask raiding as them all the time. what they do is they say things and do things that they hope will be attributed to the celebrity and many of those are fakes. >> as far as facebook is concerned what responsibility does facebook have to kick these people offline? >> well, responsibility or what efforts do they take? i think it is less about responsibility and more about them going above and beyond.
when you are dealing with celebrities and vips they are very careful to create a unit so that the management of the vips or celebrities can reach out saying those six accounts aren't me. they can make sure no one is posing as you on facebook. >> so is facebook doing something similar to the shooter in this case? >> i'm sorry? are they catching people posing as the shooter? >> yeah. facebook. >> facebook is working with law enforcement very closely to give them any information they need to do this. they don't to my knowledge have any special watches out for any of the names of the victims or shooting, anyone involved. people may be able to create those accounts. they are working very closely with connecticut law enforcement in helping track down things they need tracked. >> thanks for sharing your insight with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me back. it is a very sad time and hopefully we can work together.
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self-defense all necessary for living free. this from bob. an archaic remnant of the 18th century. this from robin. we use our guns for hunting food. we fill our freezer with meats and that is what we use our guns for. i would definitely not want my life taken away. lots of responses again this morning. i appreciate it. facebook.com/carolcnn. cnn "newsroom" with ashley continues after the break. paireh savory garlic shrimp. just $12.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99.
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